Chapter 7. Victor’s View

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Alex looked at Zane unconcerned. “Oh crap, his signal probably got cut in the chaos, this is unbelievable man, put the tv on!”

But the new reporter looked traumatised.
At 8:43 this morning the twin towers were struck by hijacked planes. Fire workers have been working none stop to rescue survivors. Many have already jumped to their death to escape the steel that caught alight. American freedom has come under attack. We cross over to Mandy Klein live at the scene.

Alex; Where did Carl say he was going?
Zane; I was half asleep , I don’t even remember, dammit!
Alex; “let’s wait for an hour and see if he gets back, maybe we’re getting tense for nothing.”

The phone buzzed through the taut air.
Alex looked at the unknown number. “Hi?”

Victor; “Hi, Alex? This is …Uncle… Victor, Carls dad…Your dad gave me your number, is Carl with you by any chance?”

Unknown to Alex, at that moment both of us felt like someone had placed a thousand pebbles at the pit of our stomachs. He looked across at Zane worriedly.

“ No… we were hoping he was with you Uncle Vic…”Alex said to my dread.

There was a laden pause before I replied, trying to keep the growing anxiety clawing at me,out of my voice. “I was supposed to meet him around 10…I’ll I hope is that he didn’t take the lower Manhattan route to meet me…It looks like a hell pit there.”
Alex; “Damn! We cant even remember where he said he’s going, we’ll let you know as soon as we get news and please let us know if you hear from him.”

Narrated Abdullah: Allah’s apostle said, “The key of the unseen are five: Verily with Allah is the knowledge of the Hour. He sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower, All-aware.”(31.34). [Sahih Bukhari, Book 60, Hadith 151]

I greeted him and hung up. I needed to do something before I went mad. You plan your whole life. You even dream of your “future life goals” and picture it but the truth? We have no control over things. We can try our best but peace only comes when we realise that there is a Higher plan that we have no hand in,but a choice in. It’s called fate. Back then, I was someone who got frustrated because I couldn’t accept what wasn’t mine, will never be. Meanwhile back at the hotel the boys also were getting restless…

Alex; What on earth do we do now? Let’s go get some breakfast while we figure that out
Zane; I remember now! Alex you genius! Breakfast! Yes! He said he’s going to go to a coffee shop for BREAKFAST! something about waffles and lower Manhattan, gosh we were idiots not to remember that, you know Carl and his addiction to waffles and pancakes
Alex; But where Is this coffee shop? Lower Manhattan is chock full of them
Zane;…let’s hope he didn’t pass the twin will take us about 15 minutes to get a cab to downtown, let’s go! Move it!Let’s just start checking.
Alex; I’m going to kick his butt if he’s okay
Zane laughed . “ Weird logic but I understand, my stomachs in knots too.”


Alex; Taaaxiii, the traffic’s madness here! There’s a cab there! Wave him down

Zane peered into the taxi that had pulled over. “ Hi can you take us to lower Manhattan?”

The driver vigorously shook his head in a way that they couldn’t understand if it signalled yes or no… “I can take you but I don’t think they’re going to allow anyone in.” He replied in a heavy accent.
Alex; no problem we’ll see what happens let’s go… our friend might be there

Driver; Okay get in…. Me Aslam, one of best cabbies in New York. What your names?

Alex; I’m Alex and he’s Zane

Aslam pressed the hooter as if it was stuck. Waving his arms wildy he complained to his passengers. “Just look at how that driver is paralyzed parking!”

Zane; What?

Aslam; Yeah he can’t paralyze park properly. I can do it in my sleep…which is half the time

Alex; Paralyze park?? Oh you mean parallel park!

Aslam; Same thing ,What happened today was really bad huh… my sister was near and she saw people actually jump from the building to escape the fire…it’s too sad, things are going to get crazy now in Amrika, mark my words
Alex; I wonder who could have been behind this barbaric act, I mean the Twin Towers? Crashing into it? That’s terrible!
Aslam; I don’t know who did it but I know for sure who they will blame…
Zane; Who?
Aslam; The Muslims…probably the Al-Qaeda…as if there is such a thing… Are you Muslim?
Zane; Who me?

Aslam; Yes…you look like one although spark very dim

Zane looked offended. “ What is that supposed to mean?”

Aslam; When a person is Muslim, even though they might not dress or act like Muslim, you can still see it,that this is a Muslim because of the light of Imaan…faith, the less you practise faith, the more dull the light gets, even if you’re fair…the face doesn’t have that spark you know
Zane; well that’s quite rude I must say!

Aslam; A hundred apologies…but the truth always ugly pill, you take care now and remember things are going to get very bad for you, stay strong, the more you run away from your faith, the weaker you get, the closer you run To it, the stronger you’ll get even if they try to break you
Zane; what the hell are you on about man?? Are you tripping?
Aslam; you will see in time don’t worry
Alex; I don’t think they’ll blame the Muzlims, that guy who came from the Taliban, I mean he made it very clear that they are not involved in any terrorist activity.

Aslam; Haha(sarcastic) Ah my boy…Amrika, they always need an enemy, if they don’t have one, they will make one. To keep the people scared, when people are scared, they don’t listen to sense. Sorry to say but that is how your government is. And you, other boy, don’t feel bad but as you long as you’re not white, you never will be right, when stupid people of our Muslim countries will stop licking Bush’s shoe? When? Eish.

Surah2 A257; Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe, He brings them out of the depth of darkness and lead them into the light. As for the unbelievers, whose protector is Taghut (forces of Shaitan), he takes them out of the light and leads them into the depths of darkness. As a result they will become the companions of the Hell fire and shall live therein forever.

Alex; This dude is crazy

Aslam; No no, Im not ecrazy. I am honest Aslam. Look at that man! Just because he thinks he’s wearing the Armani suit and driving latest merc he’s Constipated

Zane; Say what? Constipated??
Aslam; Yes, he thinks he is better than everyone else because of what he has, makes him constipated, I must teach you’ll English too and you born here. Aslam shrugged his shoulders like he was talking to a pair of idiots.

Alex; You mean conceited!

Zane; You’re a classic man. Drop us off here, there’s barricades further down, here’s your money
Driver; JazakALLAH, ALLAH Hafiz my boy, remember…hadith says A time will come when to hold onto Deen will be like holding a burning coal, the time has come. Rather hold on to this coal than burn in the hereafter for good.
Alex; This isn’t good man, We’ve been looking for him for 8 hours and no sign

Zane; I hate to say this…but lets go check out the hospitals?

It was around this time that I called the boys…with the news that would change our lives forever.

“Alex…. Carl’s dad here again…I…I…”

Alex; Yes? Uncle Victor?

I couldn’t even bring myself to say it. I held onto the armrest as I delivered the news of what I never hoped to hear.
“Carl was passing the twin towers when it crashed…he was killed in the debris… I’m finished.”

Zane; I cant believe this is how we finished our holidays…with one of us ..gone…forever(sobs) gosh I wish I could escape from me, let’s go get wasted till it numbs this pain
Alex; good idea, let’s go.
I walked into Alex’s dad’s lounge. I was spending some time with his dad who was one of my “contacts” and the boys were with me. How ironic that both of us were estranged from my sons. I think Carl’s death shook Alex’s father to step up, hence he called his son to come over after years. Alex’s dad might be a loser in a lot of ways but he tried to be a good friend and knew I couldn’t cope at the moment being alone.

“ where are you guys going?” I asked the guys
Zane; down to Craws

“what, the bar?” I was taken aback.

Zane; yes, just need to kill this pain

“your friend isn’t even cold in his grave and you guys are off drinking??” I replied in a cold fury.How could they do this?

Zane; well we’re not going for fun, I need to forget ok!
“ As a Muslim, you should know better than that Zane, drinking is forbidden for you…I’ve seen Muslims lose their homes and family and yet remain strong because of their faith and patience, I even heard them say that their Creator will never let their loss go unrewarded.” I told him heatedly.

Zane; What the hell! You have no right to tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing, you’re a fine one to talk! If he wasn’t coming to meet you, he wouldn’t be dead! I’m going Alex, I don’t know how you can tolerate this man in your house.
Zane walked out, slamming the door behind him.

Alex; Thanks man, isn’t it enough that you got my one friend killed? Now you upset the other,if you weren’t my dads friend , theres no way I would have let you stay here

I was shaking. “Alex…he might have been your friend but he was my Son.”

Alex; Some father you were huh! You weren’t even there for half his life! Busy globe trotting while your son had to grow up with another man as his father ,do you know how it killed him?

I looked sadly at Alex and wanted to blurt out everything but I couldn’t,not as yet. “Do you know how it killed me? The day Carl died was the day I wanted to tell him everything, tell him the truth about why I had to be away from him.”

Alex;Yeah sure, you’re saying this now to pacify yourself, ease the guilt, he was just an innocent bypasser, he didn’t need to die!

Alex’s dad; hey Alex whats happening? Everything okay here? I heard you shout?

Alex; yeah dad, everything’s fine, just fine.

Alex’s dad; Victor,come and see whats on the tv, President Bush is going to make an announcement!

News clip;

‘I swear to take revenge on your behalf Carl, I will give my all to destroy the Taliban. I promise.’ Alex thought silently.

I looked over at Alex and my heart lurched in fear at the evil expression his face wore…he was going to do something terrible.

To be continued…


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